div·​i·​na·​tion | \ ˌdi-və-ˈnā-shən How to pronounce divination (audio) \

Definition of divination

1 : the art or practice that seeks to foresee or foretell future events or discover hidden knowledge usually by the interpretation of omens or by the aid of supernatural powers
2 : unusual insight : intuitive perception

Other Words from divination

divinatory \ də-​ˈvi-​nə-​ˌtȯr-​ē How to pronounce divination (audio) , də-​ˈvī-​nə-​ , ˈdi-​və-​nə-​ \ adjective

Synonyms for divination


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Examples of divination in a Sentence

the art of reading tea leaves and other forms of divination if her powers of divination are so great, why doesn't she know what the stock market will do?
Recent Examples on the Web Kiley Mann was 10 when she was gifted her first set of runes, a Nordic divination tool, which sparked a lifelong journey into witchcraft. Sara M Moniuszko, USA TODAY, 15 Oct. 2021 Short of divination, something evidently was in the air in the 1850s that Whitman captured and Lincoln at least appeared to embody. Sean Wilentz, The New York Review of Books, 29 Apr. 2021 The report also did not specify which divination practices were the most common, but tarot is certainly not the only one. The Salt Lake Tribune, 13 Aug. 2021 There are also the popular practices of geomancy or feng shui, an ancient art of harmonizing humans with their surroundings, and divination or fortunetelling. Mario Poceski, The Conversation, 6 Aug. 2021 While the interest in tarot and other forms of divination often corresponds to a complete rejection of traditional religion, that is not a given. The Salt Lake Tribune, 13 Aug. 2021 Their Thoth deck, named after the Egyptian god of alphabets, incorporates specific astrological symbolism into each card, linking the divination practice to the cosmos. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, 6 Jan. 2020 Finney turned to her godmother, a priestess of Ifa, a religion of the Yoruba people of western Africa and system of divination, to teach her about mediumship. Tatiana Boncompagni, Marie Claire, 7 June 2021 They are still used today in the art of divination and continue to be worn as talismans in different parts of the world to bring good fortune. Kristen Shirley, Forbes, 6 June 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'divination.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of divination

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for divination

Middle English divinacioun, from Latin divination-, divinatio, from divinare — see divine entry 3

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The first known use of divination was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

20 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Divination.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/divination. Accessed 1 Dec. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of divination

: the practice of using signs (such as an arrangement of tea leaves or cards) or special powers to predict the future


div·​i·​na·​tion | \ ˌdi-və-ˈnā-shən How to pronounce divination (audio) \

Kids Definition of divination

: the art or practice of using signs and omens or magic powers to foretell the future

More from Merriam-Webster on divination

Nglish: Translation of divination for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about divination


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